Louisville vs. Syracuse: Notebook

No. 19 Louisville (2-1) hopes to bounce back quickly against Syracuse (0-3) in their Big East opener Saturday at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. InsideTheVille.com takes you inside the game with this in-depth and insightful game-week notebook.

Bounce Back Cards

Steve Kragthorpe is confident Louisville will bounce back quickly from their 40-34 loss to Kentucky. History is on Kragthorpe's side. Since 2003, Louisville is 7-1 after a loss and has won their last six games after a loss. The last time the Cardinals dropped back-to-back games came in 2003 when TCU and Memphis knocked off Bobby Petrino's first team in consecutive weeks.

Syracuse Right Opponent for Quick Recovery

The Orange enter Saturday's game 0-3. But even their dismal record doesn't tell the complete story of just how far Syracuse has slipped on the gridiron in recent years. Once a high-octane offense under Donovan McNabb and Marvin Harrison, Syracuse has become anemic on offense. The Orange enter Saturday's game against Louisville ranked 117th nationally in rushing offense, 97th in passing offense, 116th in total and scoring offense. Syracuse isn't much better on defense where the Orange rank 114th in the nation against the run, 101st in total defense and 108th in scoring defense.

Woodny Turenne made nine tackles in his
first start against Kentucky.
Big East a Beast

While Louisville opens their Big East schedule this week against winless Syracuse, a brutally tough conference slate awaits the Cardinals. Four Big East programs are ranked in the USA Today Top 25 this week: No. 5 West Virginia; No. 11 Rutgers; No. 19 Louisville and No. 24 South Florida. Only the SEC (6) and Big XII (5) boast more Top 25 teams this week.

Third Down a Charm

Louisville's explosive offense, led by Brian Brohm, Harry Douglas and Anthony Allen, lead the nation in third down conversion percentage at 62.9 percent. Minnesota, Texas Tech, Penn State and LSU round out the Top 5. The Cardinals converted 8 of 13 third downs last week against UK and have converted 60 percent or better in all three games this season.

Myles the Hit Man

Lamar Myles is quickly developing into the Cardinals best tackler on defense. Not only does the junior linebacker lead Louisville in tackles with 32, the 6-0, 215 pound junior registered 22 tackles against Kentucky, the fifth best single-game total in school history.

"He's going to lay all 212 pounds of his body out there every time he plays," Kragthorpe said. "He's not a big guy in terms of stature but he's a big guy in terms of the way he plays in big games. He's going to be very aggressive and stick his face in there and play when he's banged up. He's an everyday player. He comes to practice with a work-man like attitude every day. He's a man of few words but he shows a lot of leadership the way he steps into the huddle and the way he practices every day."

Anthony Allen is on a record-setting
rushing pace this season.
Allen Emerges as Every Down Back

Sophomore Anthony Allen is on pace to shatter the U of L single-season rushing record, held by Howard Stevens, who rushed for 1,429 yards in 1971. Allen set a school single game record by rushing for 275 yards against Middle Tennessee and has rushed for 427 yards, a gaudy 7.1 yards per carry, in just three games this season. He also has six touchdowns – five rushing, one receiving.

"Anthony has stepped up and done a nice job," Kragthorpe said. "He caught the ball well out of the backfield the other night, pass protected well and ran the ball well. I thought it was his most complete game that I've seen him play, including the games that I watched last year. That was our challenge to him this year was to be a complete players and an every down player. I think he has continually showed us that he can take on that role."


  • Senior Wide Receiver Harry Douglas has six straight 100 plus yard receiving games dating back to the 2006 season, including his sensational 13 reception, 223 yard performance against Kentucky last week. In his past six games, Douglas has 45 catches for 920 yards and seven touchdowns. Douglas is a strong contender for the Fred Biltnikoff award, given annually to the nation's top receiver.

  • Running backs Brock Bolen and Sergio Spencer didn't play against Kentucky because of injury, but both players are listed as key reserves in this week's media guide for the Syracuse game.

  • Junior college transfers Woodny Turenne and Willie Williams saw their most extensive action of the season against Kentucky and they both made their presence felt on defense. Turenne, who made his first career start against the Wildcats, recorded nine tackles and broke up a pass, while Williams racked up six tackles.

  • Brian Brohm is on pace to break Chris Redman's single-season passing record of 4,042 yards established in 1998. Through three games, Brohm has thrown for 1,142 (380.7 yards/game). If he continues that torrid pace, Brohm will throw for 4,568 yards.

  • Louisville needs to make quick improvement on defense if they intend to contend in the Big East Conference. The Cardinals currently rank 93rd nationally against the run; 73 against the pass; 92nd in total defense; 88th in scoring defense; 85th in tackles for loss and 99th in sacks.

  • Five true freshmen have seen action this season: Bilal Powell, C.J. Peake, Doug Beaumont, Mark Wetterer and Greg Tomczyk.

  • Louisville ranks No. 18 nationally in kickoff coverage, allowing only 18.1 yards per game. Against Kentucky, the Cardinals kicked off six times and allowed six returns for an average of 19 yards.

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